Monday, November 28, 2011

Not-so-savvy Holiday

Opps I did it again!  I fell victim to eating like an idiot.   I did not resist the urge to indulge.  My state of mind was simple -- 'enjoy'.  No carb was overlooked, cookies were consumed in mass quantities and I 
promised myself come Monday I'd get back to my regularly scheduled eating habits.

I'm (still) reading the Mayo Clinic Diet book and I'm being bombarded with bad habits to toss out. Suddenly I feel gross.  Granted, I know I don't usually eat like this everyday and I reserve the right to put my convictions on hold for special occasions, but nonetheless the feeling of guilt is palpable.

I let myself down.  I have been working diligently on my exercise routine and making sure to eat lots of fruits and veggies everyday.  In the last few days I have placed an overextended pause on my usual routine.  

"...remember, this is about you - when you come up with your own solutions, you're more likely to be successful."  (Mayo Clinic Diet, pg. 61).  This spoke to me!  Not just after over eating for Holiday weekends (!!!) but this is true for life.  I realized the importance of committing this to memory and applying it every single day.  This's mine and this way of living is to improve ME!  I need to enjoy special occasion meals and not put myself on the rack of guilt afterwards.  Here are some thoughts to help keep me strong...feel free to try them out yourself
  • no snacking, reserve the indulgence for what I truly want
  • move my booty (a lot) prior to eating
  • tell family I will be exercising for specified amount of time and will gladly help afterwards
  • no desert, afterall it really is all about the mashed potatoes and gravy
  • for every glass of wine, chase it with a glass of water
  • heck, put water in wine glass to play with the mind
  • do not pass out after meal
  • prioritize what I really want
  • eat lots of veggies instead of mac n' cheese as a side
  • do not wear Thanksgiving pants, keep the tight jeans buttoned at all times

I have to also honor the fact that I have been working really hard at the gym and consequently building muscle which has helped raise my metabolism. This mindset can lead to a slipperly slope though.  My poor father thinks that going to the gym balances eating 'whatever you want'.  His little tummy is evidence enough for me to realize the error in his thinking.  It does help, but I cannot justify every decision with this mindset otherwise there goes my behind into a larger size.

I was super happy to re-join my favorite strength training class this morning and the entire room, instructor included, admitted to gorging (a bit) over the weekend.  I was thankful!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

We are all just trying

                                                   PRESS PLAY

I recently concluded a part-time gig which had me hanging out at Whole Foods Markets around the Chicago-land area.  I was offering shoppers a chance to try out (relatively healthy) products.  Sounds fun right...well I sure did meet a lot of fun people.  I talked to so many shoppers and what I found is virtually everyone is trying!

Examples: low/no-fat, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, no corn, only things wife selects, allergic to_____(pepper/nutmeg/celery/parsley), lactose free, low sodium, no carb, no sugar,  seeds only, no seeds and my personal favorite - don't care, will eat whatever (these were mostly men with noticeably naked ring fingers).

After being bombarded with everyone's restrictions it hit me...with the exception of the few men who ate 'whatever', we are all just trying!

That's when this classic BoDeans song popped into my the heart of it all I believe we'd all love to be free!  My darling grandmother was a vegetarian (practically vegan) for 40 years.  The last two years of her life, she gave up trying.  She ate whatever she wanted.  Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to wait until the end of my life to enjoy food.

I have met many people, self included, who have fallen off the vegetarian wagon after years of passing up meat.  My cousin had been a vegetarian since she was 11 and after years she admitted, "Life is too short to not enjoy it"... and the vegetarian community lost another member.  Friends who had been veggie fell off once they became pregnant.

We have a plethora of food education surrounding us and I freely admit it is entirely too difficult to keep up with everything!!  We are all just trying to be closer to free.

My advice - be a savvy foodie and get thee to a gym, regularly!  We may never be truly free, but at least we can be savvy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Defeat is not an option

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow."  -- O. S. Marden

Photo from
These two words, when used in sequence, are quite powerful.  The last few weeks I have been working for a health food company.  I've encountered so many new and interesting people as I have touted  products around the Chicago land area.  Most of what folks have shared with me is forgettable, but there has been one comment I've received that struck a (very loud) chord in me.  This 6 foot something, middle aged man began chatting with me about eating healthy.  He said, "It's easy to be unhealthy, it's damn hard to be healthy".  He then slipped back into the crowd of shoppers and left me with this thought: don't quit.

I joined a gym 8 months ago, befriended a nutritionist and the results have been incredibly positive.  I have more energy, I sleep better at night, I'm happier with my image, I've gone down in weight and body fat, I ran a 5K and I continue to do better (because I know better...remember my mantra?).  

But if you're thinking it must have been easy, think again.  I have a superb support system, which I have vented to on numerous occasions.  My body ached as I strengthened it, my joints took a beating and when my scale didn't tip in the downward direction my peeps got an ear full.  I cried at times thinking 'this is too hard'.  Indeed, it is hard work to be healthy.  It would be so much simpler to just give up.  But I kept on my path, stumbled off course a few times, and now I can look back and realize it was just apart of my journey.  The easy thing to do would be to quit, but only I would lose in this situation.

I am a proud, card carrying member of the 'No Deception Club'.  Currently, I am the only member but I'm always open to new members!  I had to stop lying to myself! That's the only thing that works.  "I've had a hard day"..."I'm tired"... "It's the weekend so I can cheat"... or my usual get out of jail free card..."Aunt Flo is visiting so it's ok to eat everything in the fridge and then proceed to the contents of the freezer."  Who the hek am I kidding?  These exact excuses got me in the maternity yoga pants.  I am the only person I can blame if I don't like what I see.

What truly breaks my heart, people who give up on themselves.  It is hard, true, but when a person honestly believes they don't deserve a better way of!  Strap on the big boy/girl pants and get cracking.  It's only your life.  If that isn't enough reason then smack my butt and call me Sally!

 Into everyone's life, challenges will (surely) fall.  We all have that little voice inside of our head that encourages us to quit.  "Get the hell out of dodge and find another way to shake your booty" is the usual thought that pops into my head when I'm running/spinning/lifting weights, etc.  I want out just as much as the next person...but I don't quit.  

Mentally, I compete with myself.  Whatever my previous mile time was, or pounds I was lifting, whatever...I challenge myself to go farther or lift more.  I do more squats!  I kick higher!  I position myself in front of the instructor!  I run longer!  ANYTHING that gets me to kick my own butt!  If I feel the burn, I know I'm doing it right.  I won't let a little thing called a 'challenge' stand in my way of being healthy.

It's 11pm now and I'm ready to face tomorrow and hit the gym first thing!  I know I'll have my coffee and breakfast and I'll be off...I can't wait!